Barack Obama’s Improbable Election and the Question of Race and Racism in Contemporary America

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2009-12-18 01:46Z by Steven

Barack Obama’s Improbable Election and the Question of Race and Racism in Contemporary America

Journal of Black Studies
January 2010
Volume 40, No. 3

Guest Editor
Pamela D. Reed, Assistant Professor of English Composition and Africana Literature
Virginia State University

The Journal of Black Studies has now issued two special issues on President Barack Hussein Obama. ‚ÄúThe Barack Obama Phenomenon‚ÄĚ (Mazama, 2007) examines the historic candidacy of the then Illinois Senator. The present issue explores Obama‚Äôs nascent presidency and matters of race and racism, both in the run-up to and in the wake of his landmark victory.

Try as one might, it is not possible to minimize the centrality of race in all areas of American life, even now. Indeed, since the inception of the American republic, built on the backs of enslaved Africans, race and color have been the ultimate determinants of socioeconomic status. For over four centuries, dating from around the mid-15th century, millions of Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic Ocean, and scores of them were brought to the United States, where their forced labor provided the engine for the American capitalist machine…

…Whatever the case, W. E. B. Du Bois‚Äôs prescient statement (1903) regarding the problem of the color line in the 20th century is no less true today‚ÄĒeven as we head into the second decade of the 21st century. Be that as it may, Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of these United States. As a result, scholars will undoubtedly dissect his election and his presidency for the foreseeable future. We begin that process herein.

Table of Conents

  • Pamela D. ReedIntroduction: Barack Obama‚Äôs Improbable Election and the Question of Race and Racism in Contemporary America. pp. 373-379.
  • Philip S. S. HowardTurning Out the Center: Racial Politics and African Agency in the Obama Era. 380-394.
  • Christopher J. MetzlerBarack Obama‚Äôs Faustian Bargain and the Fight for America‚Äôs Racial Soul. pp. 395-410.
  • Martell Teasley and David IkardBarack Obama and the Politics of Race: The Myth of Postracism in America. pp. 411-425.
  • Thomas EdgeSouthern Strategy 2.0: Conservatives, White Voters, and the Election of Barack Obama. pp. 426-444.
  • Felix Germain “Presidents of Color,” Globalization, and Social Inequality. pp. 445-461.
  • Pearl K. Ford, Tekla A. Johnson, and Angie Maxwell“Yes We Can” or “Yes We Did”?: Prospective and Retrospective Change in the Obama Presidency. pp. 462-483.
  • David MasteySlumming and/as Self-Making in Barack Obama‚Äôs Dreams From My Father. pp. 484-501.

Read the entire introduction here.

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